Local residents weigh in on tuition plan, ‘What about us?’

LYNN – Osvaldo Cintron Jr. was born in Puerto Rico but he is not happy with Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at state colleges.”What about us? I never really received any type of help of that type. Because I’m Hispanic I don’t automatically say help someone who is here illegally. Focus on helping someone who is a U.S. citizen,” Cintron said.Jean Filias has lived in this country for six years and runs a business exporting goods to his native Haiti. He thinks Patrick’s plan to give immigrants a break irrespective of their citizenship status could help boost the state’s and the nation’s economy.”We can help people help America and help them go back to their country to help their people. Instead of watching television and seeing bad things in Haiti and Africa, we could see progress in those countries.”Jeff Beard doesn’t understand how immigrants living in the country can enroll in college without having their citizenship status questioned.”It’s bizarre. If they are illegal they shouldn’t be here in the first place.”Heather Alves agreed and said her opposition to the tuition break is founded on fairness.”I know America was founded by immigrants but there are Americans born and raised in this country who can’t afford college because their parents make too much money.”Barry Lozzi also thinks fairness is the most important question to ask about Patrick’s plan.”If they want to do it they should do it legally,” he said.Carmen Guardiola has mixed views about Patrick’s proposal. She has an immigrant friend attending college but she thinks offering breaks to illegal immigrants will allow other lawbreakers to get a break.”I think people who are responsible should be allowed to finish their education,” she said.

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